The country’s external debt as on December 31, 2013, stood at $426 billion, an increase of 5.2%, or $21.1 billion, over end-March 2013, the finance ministry said in a statement on Monday. This led to an external debt to GDP ratio of 23.3% at end-December 2013, compared with 21.8% at end-March 2013. “The rise in external debt during the period was due to long-term debt particularly NRI deposits. A sharp increase in NRI deposits reflected the impact of fresh FCNR(B) deposits mobilised under the swap scheme during September-November 2013,” the release stated. Long-term debt stood at $333.3 billion at December 2013, showing an increase of 8.1% over the end-March 2013 level, while NRI deposits showed an increase of 39.3% for the same period.
Sovereign external debt stood at $76.4 billion, or 17.9% of total external debt at end-December as against $81.7 billion, or 20.2% at end-March, the ministry said. The share of US dollar denominated debt, as expected, was the highest in external debt stock and stood at 63.6% at end-December 2013, followed by debt denominated in Indian rupee at19.4%, International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights at7.1%, Japanese yen at 5% and Euro at 3.1%, the statement added.